State tourism leader: Natchez part of state tourism package

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Natchez is an important part of Mississippi’s efforts to promote tourism state-wide.

That’s what Darienne Wilson, the recently appointed director of tourism development for Mississippi, told guests at a local reception Tuesday evening.

&uot;I’m so excited to be in the position that I am at the time that I am,&uot; Wilson said. &uot;Mississippi is on the brink of great things.&uot;

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According to tabulated figures, 32 million tourists visited Mississippi in 1998. That was a 16 percent increase from the previous year and the largest increase in the nation, Wilson said.

The state hopes to continue to improve these numbers by reexamining methods of advertising.

&uot;I think we need a new updated image for the state,&uot;&160;Wilson said.

Wilson, a former resident of Natchez and former director of sales and catering at the Natchez Eola Hotel, was appointed as director of tourism by Gov. Ronnie Musgrove this year.

&uot;Natchez is such an important part of what we have to sell,&uot; Wilson said. &uot;Natchez is a very strong part of what is Mississippi is all about and it certainly is a part of the tourism package.&uot;

Wilson also thinks Natchez does a great job of cooperating regionally in promoting tourism.

Despite the growth of the gaming industry, the state is different from other gaming areas in that it offers culture, beauty and antebellum history.

&uot;We offer a real diversity to the traveler,&uot;&160;Wilson said.

The Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Natchez Office of Tourism Management hosted the reception at the Natchez Visitor Reception in honor of National Tourism week.